Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra said that Pakistan’s top three will flourish in the Asia Cup 2023 opener against Nepal at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. As per him, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, and captain Babar Azam will combine to score more than 150 runs for Pakistan as well. However, Pakistan recently beat Afghanistan 3-0 in a three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka.
While previewing the opening Asia Cup 2023 clash on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Pakistan’s top three, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, will score 150+ runs combined. I also feel Fakhar and Imam will score more than 60 runs in the powerplay. If Pakistan bat first, the top three could score more than 150 because the pitch in Multan is extremely flat. A lot of 300-plus scores are not registered here, but it is still a good batting surface.”
However, looking at the ODIs records of Pakistan’s top three, Imam has scored 2884 runs in 62 matches at an average of 51.5, whereas Fakhar has hit 3207 runs in 73 matches, averaging 47.16 as well. On the other hand, Captain Babar Azam has played 103 games, scoring 5202 runs which came at an average of 58.45.
“My second prediction is Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Nawaz will combine to pick up six or more wickets. Shadab Khan has done very well in Multan; Nawaz also gives Pakistan a spin option. Shaheen Afridi is going to do the job, with the new and the old ball,” Aakash Chopra concluded.